And now, on this ever-so-chill Wednesday afternoon, my flatmate and I were lazily lounging on our flat’s sofas, all obtained from thrift shops, smoking shag tobacco and drinking old coffee. We were bored to tears, or rather, we did not feel like doing anything useful. Were there actually any things that could be said to be useful? Answering this question took us the better part of an hour, the major advantage being that we didn’t have to get up from our sofas to do it.

EM is 20 years old and during the Christmas period, all kinds of articles that look back on twenty years of Erasmus Magazine will appear under the name 20 Years of EM. In the section When I was 20 the editors of EM look back on their study time, currently one, two or more decades ago.

Earlier that day, we had played a game of Yahtzee, at one-cent stakes, and as usual, we had raced our turtles (we had two turtles in the house, redeared terrapins called Almond-Filled Cookie No. 1 and No. 2) to determine which of us would have to run to the supermarket just before 6pm to get us some food. We lay on the sofas staring at the TV’s test pattern and discussing pseudo-philosophies.

We wouldn’t have to sit any exams for a while just yet, and I had managed to type up a few pages of a report on my typewriter just a few weeks earlier, but then I had run out of correction fluid, and I hadn’t got round yet to buying more of the stuff. Thankfully, I had a few more months yet to submit the report, I reckoned, and if that weren’t the case, well, I’d simply take the subject again in the next year. Who knows, that might actually be better. I’d probably have got myself an electric typewriter by then.

I was supposed to be recording a few LP records borrowed from the library onto a cassette tape for a friend of mine, but the mere thought of doing so exhausted me. After dinner I should possibly write a letter to Thijs, who’d been hanging out in Mexico for some ten months now, and decide where I am going to hitch-hike during my next holiday, and with whom, and for how long. Jeez, I was going to be busy today. Perhaps I should have another cup of coffee first. And a cigarette. Would you like one, too?

*A random day in the life of a random student in the early 1980s

Gert van der Ende (1962)